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April 6, 2004 - Archbishop Sean O’Malley’s Homily at the Chrism Mass


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Many times, when I visited Rome, it has been my joy to visit the chapel at the English college in Rome.  So many of those English priests who lost their lives preaching the Gospel were alumni of that venerable college.  During the time of persecution, whenever an English priest was martyred, usually tortured, drawn and quartered, the students and the faculty of the English college would gather in that same chapel and chant a Te Deum in thanksgiving.  They were praising God for the courageous witness and selfless ministry of their former classmates and companions who bravely faced torture and death for their love of Christ and the Church.  Our Chrism Mass should be a Te Deum for the ministry of our brothers. 

During the Jubilee Year, our Holy Father stressed the role of martyrs in the life of the Church.  With their suffering they witnessed to the Church’s faith in Jesus Christ crucified and risen.  The faith is not spread by pundits or even by teachers, but by teachers who are witnesses.  Martyr means witness. 

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